The Streets – Original Pirate Material (2002)

January 17, 2015
The Streets – Original Pirate Material (2002)

This is one of my all time favourite albums. In fact, there’s a few Streets records in my all time favourites, but this one has got to be the best, IMO. In my youth I found The Streets’ quirky raps about everyday life rather amusing, and in my maturity (err… LOL) I have discovered whole new deeper social commentaries within them, as well as a greater, more profound love for the instrumentation itself.

Mike Skinner signed to Locked On and started this debut off the success of “Has It Come To This?”, which I believe the label released before commissioning an album, but I could be wrong. It’s rare that UK garage or jungle stuff bridges into the UK charts or into the worldwide hip hop environs, so I think a lot of people were surprised with the initial success of this record back on it’s release – especially considering it doesn’t fall into the usual trappings of rap subject matter. 

“Turn The Page” is one of the best intro songs ever – a 3 minute or so constant flow of epic lyrical prose. “Don’t Mug Yourself” is the daft as fuck lead single, “Too Much Brandy” is a brilliant ode to overdoing it on the substances, “The Irony Of It All” (a parody on the prohibition of cannabis) is still one of my favourite songs of all time and “Let’s Push Things Forward” is a profound message on the state of the music industry as a whole. To top it off, there’s my favourite song, “Same Old Thing”, which is about the monotony of everyday life. There’s only one iffy track, “It’s Too Late”, which is a bit lovey-dovey, but other than that every single last track is absolute solid, even the instrumental break.

Hard to beat, Original Pirate Material is an absolute gem. Easily one of the best rap records of all time, if not one of the best records of all time, regardless of genre. Give it a goose.

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